INGRAHAM COMPLETES FIVE-WEEK
INTERNSHIP AT BAHAMAS EMBASSY
WASHINGTON, D.C. — When Dena Ingraham returns to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in the next couple weeks to begin her senior year as a Political Science Major, with Minors in International Relations and Spanish, she will have quite an exciting story to tell her fellow students about her five-week internship at the Embassy of The Bahamas in Washington, D.C.
During her tenure as an intern at the Embassy, Dena’s primary focus has been multi-lateral matters within the Organization of American States (OAS), which provided her with the opportunity to take part in various dialogues carried out by the representatives of the organization’s 35-member states and the regional bodies that they form. In addition she was exposed to bi-lateral developments and engagements between the United States and The Bahamas.
“The practical application of knowledge attained in the classroom is unmatched, but participation in diplomatic engagements at the highest level has not only acted as a spring-board for my professional development, greater cultural awareness and increased global acumen, but has also provided me with a greater appreciation for my nation’s role and influence in the context of global affairs,” Dena said. “The internship provided me with greater exposure to the numerous developmental issues that continue to characterize the gap between the developed and the developing world.”
The internship at the Embassy, which ended on Friday, August 5, followed what Dena describes as “a life-changing opportunity to spend the first half of 2016 in South Africa studying at The University of Johannesburg, which provided further momentum to my aspirations to pursue a career in the field of International Development, with particular focus in the areas of poverty eradication and human trafficking.”
“After graduating in May 2017, I hope to pursue a Master’s in International Development,” said Dena, who celebrates her 21st birthday on August 14. “My primary goal in the interim of graduating from Lincoln University and obtaining my graduate degree is to gather knowledge and experience in the field areas of my interests via volunteering and working with organizations targeting the elimination of these global issues.”
Dena was well prepared for success at the tertiary-level of her education. She attended Kingsway Academy High School in Nassau, from where she graduated in 2013 as an Honour Student and as the Deputy-Head Girl.
“It was during these years of my development that I first embarked on the phases of nurturing and refining my leadership skills through the myriad of opportunities available and investments made in my academic, spiritual and well-rounded advancement by coaches, teachers and administrators alike,” Dena said. “I was encouraged at home to master the art of well-roundedness. I have always participated in extra-curricular activities — ballet, choir, marching band, and various sports at school — while also being taught the importance and privilege of education.”
However, she said she developed a particular interest in soccer, which she spent the majority of my time on outside of school.
“Under the leadership and guidance of different coaches, I was granted the opportunity to represent The Bahamas at an international level as a member of The Bahamas Women’s National Soccer Team,” Dena said. “Throughout my high school career, I participated in tournaments with the team at home and abroad in countries such as Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Guatemala and the U.S.A. This, along with participating on my school and club teams, culminated in me later receiving an athletic scholarship which was complemented with an academic scholarship to the university that I now attend.”
Dena said her interest in pursuing “a global-focused career was first stirred after being nominated for and participating in the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC) in Washington, DC in the 11th grade which brought together a multitude of scholars from all over the globe to increase awareness of issues in the global sphere and the role of diplomacy in international relations to aid in the manifestation of tangible solutions to such problems.”
“This, along with academic success, has led to me being nominated to participate in the International Scholar Laureate Program Delegation on International Relations and Diplomacy to take place in China or South Africa in the summer of 2018,” Dena said. “My passion to serve was cultivated during a trip to The Dominican Republic with my school’s Spanish Club in my 9th grade year. We had the opportunity to connect with local youth and families while assisting with renovations in the communities. Immersion in this environment had awakened both a desire to create cross-cultural connections and learn languages, but more importantly, the desire to live a life defined by service to others while closing the gaps of disparities evident among people in all regions of the world.”
In May 2015, Dena added, “this passion for serving landed me in Quito, Ecuador, where I had the opportunity to work with a local foundation — United to Benefit Ecuadorian Children International (UBECI) — in a program targeting the development of adolescents working in local markets who are, in most cases, deprived of formal education.”
“I not only learnt of the beauty of Ecuadorian culture, but was able to learn of the complex dynamics in the nation’s politics, economic and social life,” Dena said. “The more I delve into the weaving of the developing world, the greater appreciation for and understanding I have of country-specific challenges and the effect they have on the larger world. I hope to spend the month of December 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal, volunteering teaching English.”
At Lincoln University, Dena said she has “been presented with a wealth of opportunities over the past three years.”
“Along with functioning in various leadership roles on my campus, most of my professional development can be attributed to the different programs, internships, and mentors I have had access to,” Dena said. “I completed my first internship in the summer of 2014, following my freshman year, at Price Waterhouse Coopers (New York, NY) as a Market & Sales- Client Strategy Intern. The following summer, I returned as an intern in the International Tax Services-Quantitative Solutions group. I am a member of the Lincoln University Horace Mann Bond Honours Program and have been fortunate to obtain several academic awards, including, most recently, the Lawrence Foster Endowed Award in the spring of 2016 for being amongst the top five GPA students in my major.”
Dena is the daughter of Mr. Basil Ingraham and Ms. Pamela Douglas. She describes her father, a CPA who heads his own company, Basil Ingraham & Co, as “one of my greatest motivators.”
“He has always encouraged me to believe that anything is possible and has been my greatest support in the achievement of my goals and professional development,” Dena said.